On 21 May ZSL is presenting an exclusive gala evening, a safari experience inspired by sights and sounds of India, the refuge of the Asian lion. There is also an Abseil for Lions fundraising event on 12 July.
To celebrate, this month we are featuring two wonderful images of Asian lions by Edward Lear, although a noted zoological artist at that time, he is now better known for his `nonsense’ poems.
The first is an original painting of an Asian lion, circa 1835
The second is the printed plate based on the painting
This was published as Plate 24 Felis leo goojratensis in Volume 1 of the Transactions of the Zoological Society in 1835 to accompany the first published scientific description of an Asian lion, the article was titled Some account of the maneless Lion of Guzerat by Capt. Walter Smee of the Bombay Army, F.Z.S.
As you can see there are differences between the painting and the lithograph, the animal itself looks quite different and the background varies.
In his article Smee states in rather flowery language `there exists a race in which the king of beasts is destitute of the flowing mane which constitutes the most remarkable of his regal adornments’.
The full paper by Captain Walter Smee is freely available online as a `hidden gem’ at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1096-3642.1835.tb00615.x/abstract
Many resources are available in ZSL Library and no appointment is necessary to use these, however we do ask visitors to make an appointment if you intend to use any of our `special collections.
If you are a ZSL member please bring your membership card when visiting ZSL Library. If you are not a member of ZSL will need proof of address and photographic ID when you visit.
Use our online catalogue to find more detailed information about specific items in our holdings. It also contains links to relevant online resources:
Select a blog
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
Find out more about life in our B.U.G.S exhibit
A new Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.
See the latest ranges, updates and special offers from our exciting new online shop.
Excerpts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Discover more about the UK's biggest zoo with our fun blog posts!
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.